Blog usability: Top Ten Mistakes

Why do you blog? There are many answers to that question, ranging from “I just need a place to write down my thoughts” to “I want to change the world (and get rich doing it).” Your answer to that question should play a large part in how you blog. Or at least how you design your blog.

On that note is Jakob Nielsen‘s latest installment of his Alert Box column, Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes.

Weblogs are a form of website. The thousands of normal website usability guidelines therefore apply to them, as do this year’s top ten design mistakes. But weblogs are also a special genre of website; they have unique characteristics and thus distinct usability problems.

To reach new readers and respect your existing readers’ time constraints, test your weblog against the following usability problems.

  1. No author biographies
  2. No author photo
  3. Nondescript posting titles
  4. Links don’t say where they go
  5. Classic hits are buried
  6. The calendar is the only navigation
  7. Irregular publishing frequency
  8. Mixing topics
  9. Forgetting that you are writing for your future boss
  10. Having a domain name owned by a weblog service

Obviously, not all of these apply to everyone; it all depends on what you want to accomplish with your blog. Still, I think I have some work to do.